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Having a hard time finding artifacts

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  • Having a hard time finding artifacts

    I have been to about ten different sites over the past two weeks. They have all been rivers/creeks, as I am just focusing on surface hunting. I've only found one biface preform and a itty bitty piece of pottery. I thought I would have found more (maybe my expectations are too high?).

    I'm in Petersburg, VA. My only source of finding new sites is google maps as I don't know anyone in the area who is into artifact hunting (I just moved to VA from NY about a year ago).

    Any tips, tricks, or pointers would be greatly appreciated! Or, if you are from the area, I'd love to meet up and learn from each other! It seems like most people keep their sites to themselves.

  • #2
    Hi relic_lady I started this hobby not to long ago didn't know where to start either. If there is one thing I could suggest to help you on your journey is to find a good plowed agricultural field near water. Just ask a farmer most I've encountered are super friendly. You might get denied but keep asking and eventually you will find your spots.

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    • #3
      I google earth’d your location. It looks like there’s tons of farmland not too far away, north west of Petersburg. Look for plowed fields with natural water sources close by. Then knock on some doors and ask permission to walk the rows. Or if your hunting waterways try searching the gravel bars and erosion spots. Good luck!
      call me Jay, i live in R.I.

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      • #4
        Be patient , it takes time to focus.. I went 13 times when I first started hunting before ever finding anything. I was very young and come to find out, there were artifacts everywhere. I just needed to get in tune ! JJ

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        • #5
          I get a lot of no you can’t walk the property but if you get a yes it will boost you up to ask more often. What I do is find a area that I think is good like a creek with gravel in it. Sandy or muddy bottoms aren’t good. Then I look at the homes and ask and even if they aren’t the owners I then ask if they know who does own the property. Most will know in the area who owns what. Then I look them up on the net and get the address or phone number or both. I like to address them in person instead of over the phone. I then ask permission and offer something in trade for the kindness. I do favors or whatever they might need I have a truck so sometimes I will do a pickup for them or something like that. Most people have hobbies so I figure out what they want and give a gift once a year to insure permission for the next year. Each owner has there rules to follow. On the first visit always ask where you can park. Good luck

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          • #6
            Keep going out and lookin' down. The more you go the more you will find and tune in. Some collectors have access to so many sites, and really, really good sites. Some collectors, even here lol, have killer artifacts coming off their own properties all the time. Don't be disheartened! Your expectations are not too high. I think most of "us", at least the people who post here most, have the same passion for Archaeology and collecting. Most casual collectors (me!) do not find a lot of artifacts all of the time. But...if you casually collect over decades that's another matter. It WILL add up.
            Last edited by tomclark; 04-28-2019, 11:45 AM.
            Professor Shellman

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            • SurfaceHunter
              SurfaceHunter commented
              Editing a comment
              I have about 2000 acres and 8 creeks with Permisson and looking for more 😃

          • #7
            Professor Shellman

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            • #8
              finding artifacts is not a easy thing, it takes a keen eye and a slow walk. finding a spot to hunt can be the hardest part. when you do get some spots to hunt try to pick up all the flint/stones you see. the way i go about it is (its a artifact until i pick it up and see its not) i have picked up more leaves, sticks, tree bark, washed clay, brick chunks, beaver chewed twigs, rocks etc. look for flaking on things and don't get caught up just looking for color. most arrowheads are dull in color because of weathering. look for tiny tips and barbs and blade edges because arrowheads love to hide. as many artifacts as i find i still come home empty handed most of the time. always walk with a flipping stick and use it. many of times i have flipped up a nice arrowhead by only seeing a tiny dot or something that just didnt look right/good. never let footprints in a field or creek disappoint you or make you turn back. 2 of my best blades were found right besides someones tracks and one of them was the big benton blade i just posted, they walked within 5 feet of it.

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              • #9
                Total newby at this game, but I saw a trick mudlarkers (shoreline beachcombers/junk collectors/odd ducks) use to dig or pry out potential treasure... a pointed mason's trowel. I have used one and it saves digging with your fingers, which stay dryer and don't get cut up. Rather than having to get your fat finger under a potential find just put the tip of the trowel under and flip it out or over. Once you get the hang of it you can pick up the piece and flip it up to your other hand for inspection.

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